Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, October 02, 2021

When ESPN announced it was going into the mobile phone service business two years ago, I predicted rapid expansion among sports freaks everywhere. There’s no more captive audience than ESPN Nation, so it would have been daft to bet against their appetite for all things branded with those four little letters.

So it’s fairly shocking to see Disney pull the plug on the venture now, citing tepid subscriber growth in a fiercely competitive sector.

The spin is that ESPN will benefit more from being a pure content distributor to multiple wireless networks. That’s true, but it masks the reality: This is a rarely-seen setback for the sports programming behemoth, which seemingly couldn’t screw up if it tried. The small screen — at least control over it — has proven to be a brick wall for Bristol.

To me, this seems like a quick hook. It must have been bleeding plenty of money (reportedly $30 million), even with the carriage partnerships. It’s really uncharacteristic.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/02/2021 11:01:42 PM
Category: Tech, SportsBiz | Permalink |

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